In a hospital ward in Lviv, newlyweds Oksana Balandina and Viktor Vasyliv, are finally sharing their first wedding dance. For the couple, both 23 years old, this is a moment that almost never happened.
After a month-long stay in various hospitals, both of Oksana’s legs were amputated along with four fingers on her left hand.
She said she spent many of those days in a dark place not wanting to live and be a burden on her family.
The two children – a 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter – are now safe with their grandparents in the Poltava region in central Ukraine.
@rtenews Watch the moment a Ukrainian nurse who lost both of her legs in the war shares first dance with her husband.#ukraine #wedding ♬ original sound – RTÉ News
“I only managed to shout to him: “Honey, look!” He looked at me when the mine exploded. I fell down with my face on the ground. There was an extreme noise in my head. Then I turned around and I started to tear off clothing on me. I thought it would be easier to breathe because there was not enough air for me,” Balandina recalled.
Vasyliv, who was walking behind her, was unhurt.
“When it happened, it felt like a minute to me. She was wounded. If it was not for Oksana, I don’t know what would happen. She is so strong. She did not faint. It was Oksana who coordinated our actions. When it happened, I gave up in despair, I did not know what to do. I saw her not moving,” Vasyliv said.
After the wedding, the couple is hoping to travel to Germany where Balandina will get proper prosthetic legs and undergo much-needed rehabilitation.
And for Vasyliv, he’s grateful for each day that he shares with his new wife.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs called Ukraine the most mine-contaminated country in the world.
Story appeared on Reuters